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Poland Health Minister Katarzyna Sojka said Tuesday, “At the moment, we can see the peak of legionellosis is behind us, there are still patients in a more severe condition, but for now, we see that fewer and fewer people are hospitalized”.

As of Tuesday, 14 Legionnaires’ disease deaths have been reported in Rzeszow in south-east Poland. Cases of Legionella pneumophila have been found in four provinces–Podkarpackie, Lubelskie, Małopolskie and Wielkopolskie– with 159 people now infected.

Sojka said officials are still working to determine the source of the infection. The probable source is the water supply, which is why the dispersion of these infections is different than elsewhere, she stated.

A full disinfection of the municipal water supply in Rzeszow and surrounding areas was performed on August 27.

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Health officials reported the first legionella infection on August 17.

Legionellosis, or Legionnaires’ disease, is a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by Legionella bacteria. People can get sick when they breathe in small droplets of water or accidently swallow water containing Legionella into the lungs. Legionella is not transmitted by food and is not dangerous when it enters the digestive system, such as through drinking water. Legionella bacteria is not spread from person to person except in very rare cases.

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